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RE: [F_minor] music theory online paper on tempi in '85 goldberg


Bless you for sending this link.  This is the type of meaty scholarly
stuff I've been searching and craving for.  How did you find this jewel?

All the best,

Fred Houpt


-----Original Message-----
From: f_minor-bounces@email.rutgers.edu
[mailto:f_minor-bounces@email.rutgers.edu] On Behalf Of Etha Williams
Sent: Saturday, July 05, 2008 11:33 PM
To: f_minor@email.rutgers.edu
Subject: [F_minor] music theory online paper on tempi in '85 goldberg

I haven't had time to read it in full, but this paper, from the
open-access Music Theory Online journal, looks quite interesting:

Peter A Martens.
*Glenn Gould's "Constant Rhythmic Reference Point": Communicating Pulse
in Bach's Goldberg Variations, 1955 and 1981 * (
*ABSTRACT: Glenn Gould's recording career is bookended by his 1955 and
1981 recordings of Bach's *Goldberg Variations*. Gould discussed these
two performances at some length during interviews around the time of the
1981 release, and in these comments he expounded a loose theory of a
"constant rhythmic reference point," the organizing principle behind the
time dimension of his 1981 recording. Gould maintained that this aspect
of the latter recording made it superior to his earlier effort by giving
unity to the set as a whole. Three excerpts from both recordings were
included as part of an empirical study on tactus choice. To discover
whether Gould was successful in communicating this unity to the average
listener, these excerpts were taken from transitions between adjacent
variations. While participants' tactus choices across these transitions
were not uniform in response to either recording, they were much less
diverse in response to the
1981 performance. Further, participants' tactus connections in response
to the 1981 recording largely matched those that Gould explicitly sought
to make. The results suggest individual and combined effects of Bach's
composed metric structure and Gould's performance decisions relative to
that structure, and indicate that Gould was (and is) able to control
perception of musical time via their tactus to a greater extent with his
1981 *Goldberg Variations*.


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